Stuffed Peppers seem fancy but it’s an easy meal and jam-packed with flavor!
Tender bell peppers stuffed with a zesty ground beef, sausage, rice, and tomato filling. Top this stuffed pepper recipe with cheese and bake until bubbly.
Serve these with a fresh salad and some crusty bread (for sopping up any sauce).
An Easy Family Favorite
Bell peppers filled with a zesty filling are a recipe that everyone loves! They take a little bit of time to make but are easy to make.
- We fill them with a saucy rice, beef, and sausage mixture. Substitute any ground meat!
- They can be prepared ahead of time and they reheat and freeze well.
- Stretch out the stuffed pepper filling with extra chopped veggies. If the peppers are small and you have leftover filling, fill zucchini or even wrap it cabbage roll style!
- If you’d like them extra saucy, add extra marinara to the baking pan.
Ingredients for Stuffed Peppers
Meat – I use a combination of lean ground beef and Italian sausage but you can use one or the other (or even ground turkey if you prefer). If substituting the sausage, you’ll want to add some extra seasonings to the mix!
Rice – I use long-grain white rice but I do sometimes replace the rice with cooked cauliflower rice. Any rice or grain will work although you may need to adjust the liquid slightly.
Sauce – Use your fave marinara sauce or pasta sauce. Add in some herbs (fresh if you’ve got them) and onions. If you like a little heat, stir in some chili flakes.
Bell Peppers – I most often make these with green bell peppers but any sweet peppers work. If you prefer a sweeter flavor, choose red, orange, or yellow peppers.
Cheese – Cheese is optional but I love it on stuffed peppers! Use shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese.
How to Make Stuffed Peppers
Making stuffed bell peppers is easy, although it does take a bit of time.
- Brown Meat: Brown meat, onion, and garlic (per the recipe below).
- Cook Rice: Add tomato sauce, rice, water, and seasonings. Cook until rice is tender.
- Prepare Peppers: While the filling is cooking, prepare the peppers by simmering or air frying for a few minutes to soften.
- Fill & Bake: Fill peppers with pasta sauce, meat, and rice mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and bake until bubbly!
I usually cut my peppers across the top but you can also cut them top to bottom to make smaller portions (like in these Taco Stuffed Peppers).
- Parboil the peppers for a few minutes or add them to the air fryer at 400°F for 5 minutes to soften before stuffing.
- Choose red, yellow, or orange bell peppers if you prefer sweeter peppers.
- If your peppers are small you may need a few extra, this filling is also great in portobello mushrooms.
- If you have leftover filling, stir it into a bowl of tomato soup or use it to stuff zucchini for another meal!
- These can be made ahead and frozen.
While you don’t have to precook the peppers, they will be quite crisp if you don’t pre-cook them. We much prefer the flavor when they’ve been cooked a bit before filling them.
Stuffed peppers should be cooked at about 350°F for about 45 minutes. Be sure to cover with foil during the initial 30-35 minutes to ensure they do not dry out. Uncover and top with cheese and bake for the remaining 10 minutes or so until brown and bubbly.
These are a full meal on their own but we love to serve them with crusty bread or homemade rolls for sopping up any sauce in the bowl.
Absolutely! We love stuffed peppers because they’re delicious but they also freeze beautifully. Since the filling is cooked these can be frozen either before or after baking. To reheat, thaw in the fridge overnight and cook for 30-40 minutes or until heated through.
Make Ahead & Leftovers
Keep leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
This easy stuffed peppers recipe can be frozen either before or after baking. To Freeze Stuffed Peppers prepare as directed below and freeze in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Thaw in the fridge overnight and bake for 30-40 minutes or until heated through.
Once baked, leftovers can be frozen individually or together in a baking dish. To reheat, simply thaw in the fridge overnight and bake in a 350°F oven until heated through.
More Bell Pepper Recipes We Love
Did you make these Easy Stuffed Peppers? Leave us a rating and a comment below!
Easy Stuffed Peppers
- 6 bell peppers
- ½ pound lean ground beef
- ½ pound Italian sausage
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 can petite diced tomatoes 14 ½ ounces, with juice
- ½ cup white rice uncooked
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 ½ cups marinara sauce divided
- ½ cup mozzarella or cheddar cheese shredded, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish.
- Cut off the tops of the bell peppers, reserving them for the sauce. Remove and discard the seeds and membranes inside the peppers. Finely chop the tops and set aside for the sauce.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the peppers for 5 minutes. Alternatively, air fry the peppers at 400°F for 5 minutes. Remove and drain well if simmering.
- Heat a large skillet, over medium-high heat. Add lean ground beef, Italian sausage, diced onion, and minced garlic. Brown over medium-high heat, breaking up with a spoon, until no pink remains. Drainy any fat.
- Add diced tomatoes with juice, rice, water, diced pepper tops, Worcestershire sauce, and Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer, and cover. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until rice is tender, adding more water if needed. Remove from the heat and stir in ½ cup marinara sauce.
- Place 1 ½ cups of marinara sauce in the bottom of the prepared pan. Add the peppers cut-side-up, and divide the rice mixture evenly over the peppers. Spoon the remaining marinara sauce over top.
- Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.
- Remove the foil and spoon the sauce from the bottom of the dish over the peppers. Top with cheese and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and peppers are tender.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
© SpendWithPennies.com. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Please view my photo use policy here.